Midwest Aerial Key Personnel
Over 100 Years of Combined Experience in Aerial Imaging
At Midwest Aerial, we believe that quality products are the result of working with the best people and the latest technologies. Our staff includes professionals with more than 100 years of combined experienced in every phase of aerial film and image acquisition.
41 Years of Experience
Mr. Scruggs founded Midwest Aerial Photography in 1989. He is responsible for contract administration and contract negotiation for all aerial imaging, and aerial geodetic projects. His management responsibilities include overseeing all aspects of project scheduling, flight operations, deliverable digital or hard copy imaging products, new technology integration, implementation, and product development.
Mr. Scruggs has performed all duties relative to aerial image acquisition for image interpretation, photogrammetric mapping, and GIS data management services including: Aerial survey pilot, film and digital sensor operation, flight planning, weather forecasting, and training of individuals to perform these functions.
He helped develop the logistics of an airborne GPS system for precise camera positioning during file exposure, and the firing of the aerial camera at predetermined exposure station coordinates. He has coordinated software development to incorporate customer needs with emerging technologies. He has also developed quality control standards and implemented quality control procedures and equipment maintenance procedures in airborne and laboratory functions.
In addition, Mr. Scruggs and Midwest Aerial Photography were selected by Zeiss/Intergraph for the initial flight testing of all large format state of the art digital cameras, the Zeiss DMC (2000), Zeiss RMK D (2009), and Zeiss DMC II (2010) to test, prove and improve these systems before being released for sale on the world market. These systems are the workhorse for collecting precise data to produce mapping and geospatial products needed to design and maintain the nation’s infrastructure, energy production and energy transportation, and management of large land areas for emergency response, natural disasters, environmental, natural resources, and compliance of government contracts and regulations.
Mr. Scruggs was brought in as a consultant to the National Air and Space Intelligence Center when the Russian Federation ordered Zeiss DMC II 140 systems to be installed in their aircraft to be used in the international Open Skies Treaty for foreign reconnaissance. Midwest Aerial owned the only DMC II 140 systems in the western hemisphere.
Mr. Scruggs holds an FAA pilot certificate and can train personnel and perform in all flight crew functions.
Since 2012, Mr. Scruggs has been a member of a Vistage organization professionally facilitated advisory peer group to develop leadership skills and solve challenging strategic and operational business issues. Each member of the Vistage group is a business owner as all serve as an advisory council to each of the members.
Mr. Scruggs has served from 2016 – 2018 as Vice President, President, and then Immediate Past President of the Eastern Great Lakes Region of the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS). The ASPRS organization is an academic, government, and commercial member organization and is responsible for setting standards for mapping and geospatial activities in North America and certifies individuals in the geo-sciences.
In 2019, Mr. Scruggs was elected to the Board of Directors of the Management Association of Practicing Photogrammetrists and Surveyors organization (MAPPS). MAPPS is the national organization of mapping and geospatial professional firms. MAPPS serves as an industry liason and advisor to primarily federal government agencies on best practices and geospatial capabilities of commercial firms who perform on government programs at all levels.
MAPPS also serves as an advisor to members of the US Senate, the US House of Representatives, and their committees and staff on new and continuing geospatial programs for the nation.
Dale L. Verges, PMP
Chief Operating Officer (COO)
34 Years of Experience
Mr. Verges’ experience in the mapping industry spans 37 years, and includes a technical background in photogrammetry, as well as 14 years of photogrammetric program/project management experience. His management and technical abilities are affirmed by certification as a Project Management Professional (PMP) Through the Project Management Institute. Mr. Verges also holds a Bachelor of Science in Management awarded with Summa cum Laude honors.
Mr. Verges began his career as a primary aerial photographer in 1982. In 1996, Mr. Verges was assigned as Aerial Lab Manager where he managed all internal production of imagery related projects to include aerial flight planning, film processing and scanning, ortho and simple rectified imagery production. He has experience using both analog film cameras as well as large format digital sensors. Over the course of the past 35 years, Mr. Verges has accrued more than 12,000 flight hours and has captured aerial photography on a multitude of flight missions. His extensive photographic background has resulted in the successful completion of thousands of aerial photo missions across the United States. He is experienced in all aspects of photogrammetric mapping, including LiDAR data collection and project flight planning, planning of ground control surveys, LiDAR data processing, digital image processing, AGPS data processing, GIS mapping, planimetric and topographic mapping, digital ortho-imagery production, and digital camera technology. In 2007, Mr Verges was instrumental in the implementation LiDAR into Midwest’s aerial data collections and processing portfolio.
As Chief Operations Officer for Midwest Aerial Photography, Mr. Verges continues to manage photogrammetric quality imagery and LiDAR data collection and processing. His management responsibilities also include overseeing all aspects of business development, project planning, flight operations, production scheduling and execution, delivery of digital or hard copy imaging products, Developing and updating QA/QC documents and procedures, new technology implementation, and product development.
J. Edward Kunz, GISP
Business Development Manager
29 Years of Experience
Mr. Kunz’s’ experience in the mapping industry spans 29 years, and includes a technical background in photogrammetry, GIS, aerial and satellite imagery and remote sensing as well as over 15 years of program/project management experience. His management and technical abilities are affirmed by certification as a Certified Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP) from the Geographic Information Systems Certification Institute. Mr. Kunz also holds a Master of Public Administration/Policy Analysis awarded with Magna cum Laude honors.
Mr. Kunz began his career with local government serving as the aerial photography archivist and GIS Project Manager for Allegheny County, PA’s $3.5 million county-wide mapping/GIS program.
In 1995 Mr. Kunz transferred his skills from government to the private sector serving in GIS sales and project management roles with a large engineering company and a small software company ultimately purchased by MapInfo.
In late 2006 Mr. Kunz joined ASRC where he was charged with forming a remote sensing department, tasked with negotiating with The Indian Remote Sensing Organization to obtain a license to distribute RESOURCESAT satellite data, negotiate a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with various US government agencies including USDA and NASA, and building a team of analysts to support the USDA and NGA.
More recently Mr. Kunz has served as Project Manager of the Microsoft BING Maps aerial imagery collection project and as project manager and sales executive with a small UAS start-up company that builds cameras and sensors and flies them on unmanned and manned aircraft.
Presently, Mr. Kunz is tasked with building Midwest’s aerial LiDAR market vertical and additional markets to be served by Midwest’s newest sensors such as aerial thermography. He has been instrumental in Midwest’s entry into the energy transportation (gas and oil pipelines and electrical transmission lines) market space.
Brian Baker, CP, GISP
33 Years of Experience
Mr. Baker’s’ experience in the mapping industry spans 33 years, and includes a technical background in photogrammetry and GIS as well as over 13 years of business development territorial management experience. He has been certified as a Certified Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP) from the Geographic Information Systems Certification Institute and a Certified Photogrammetrist (CP) from the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS). Mr. Baker has served on the regional ASPRS Boards as Director and Secretary and has mediated National ASPRS Conference seminars. Mr. Baker also served on the Research and Standards Committee for the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) specifically for input on GIS/mapping related standards.
Mr. Baker began his career with Geonex/Chicago Aerial Survey serving as the photogrammetric stereo-compiler working on many state DOT, engineering and county projects.
In 1993, Mr. Baker brought his skills to the Surdex Corporation as a senior stereo-compiler. He had many leadership roles as a senior stereo-compiler including training new compilers, QA/QC, shift supervisor and project lead. He then started and managed their first Scanning and Orthophotography department. He then was promoted to a geospatial project management and served in that role, supporting federal and state government agencies, such as NGA, USDA, NOAA, various states department of transportation, and many private sector companies for 6 years.
Prior to joining Midwest, Mr. Baker was a GIS/photogrammetric account manager for many local and state government geospatial projects for The Sidwell Company. He managed a multi-state territory for 13 years, meeting every client’s expectations and needs. Through Mr. Baker’s sales efforts, he was able to expand The Sidwell Company’s photogrammetry sales and services department. He also provided GIS software and services account management/sales. Mr. Baker has performed many sales/informational presentations for County Board and GIS committee meetings.
Flight Operations Manager
14 Years of Experience
Mr. Hammons began his career with Midwest Aerial Photography in 2006 after working for two years as a flight instructor. He graduated from The Ohio State University with instrument and multi-engine ratings as a commercial pilot and flight instructor.
Mr. Hammons is an experienced pilot having more than 7,000 hours of flight time in a variety of single engine and twin-engine aircraft. Of his total flight time, approximately 5,700 hours have been in the performance of photo survey missions.
Mr. Hammons has piloted several thousand of project sites in numerous states over the last 14 years. He is also an experienced sensor operator for both film and our DMCII digital camera systems. He has been a sensor operator on thousands of survey missions and has trained new pilots and camera operators on both systems.
Responsibilities as Flight Operations Manager include; scheduling of flight crews, aircraft maintenance scheduling, ensuring mission details are communicated to flight crews, maintaining a communication link between the Project Managers and flight crew, ensuring compliance of FAA regulations for the aircraft and crews, awareness of weather forecast for all of our potential flight areas as well as making sure the aircraft and crew are prepared and ready-to-go for missions.
Additional responsibilities include training new pilots and sensor operators to execute precision aerial survey missions using their brains, complex aircraft, GPS controlled flight management systems, tenacious airspace coordination, all while maintaining the highest level of safety.
Darnell Banks, CLT
Airborne Data and LiDAR Production Manager
21 Years of Experience
Mr. Banks started with Midwest Aerial Photography in 2001. In Mr. Banks’ current position with Midwest Aerial Photography is as Airborne Data and LiDAR Production Manager. He is responsible for airborne GPS flight planning, Airborne GPS/IMU post processing, GPS geodetic ground surveys and digital aerial camera and LiDAR training operations, and he also serves as an aerial sensor operator.
Mr. Banks has experience in all areas of aerial survey image acquisition. He is experienced with film cameras, the Zeiss DMC II-140 and DMCII-230 digital camera system and the Optech Galaxy Prime LiDAR, He is also experienced in all aspects of the Z/I Mission flight planning software, Z/I Inflight flight management software and Leica’s Flight Pro FMS for Zeiss/Intergraph digital cameras.
Mr. Banks has photographed several thousand film and digital projects in his career at Midwest Aerial Photography and thousands of LiDAR line miles. These include numerous countywide/statewide aerial photography missions for digital orthophotography and traditional photogrammetric projects as well as numerous and energy transportation projects for LiDAR collection throughout the United States and Eastern Canada.
Mr. Banks also performs all GPS and AGPS/IMU post processing for all of Midwest’s Digital mapping products. He is proficient in all aspects of AGPS post processing utilizing Graf-Nav PPP and WayPoint software.
Mr. Banks’ continuing education in the industry has included the Eastman Kodak Film Seminar held in Rochester, New York in September 2000, the Agfa Film Seminar held in Antwerp, Belgium in September 2004, and Waypoint’s GrafNAV-GrafNET users seminar in Calgary, Alberta in June of 2009 and recently, Teledyne Optech’s LiDAR sensor training. Mr. Banks also currently holds a private pilot certificate.
Mr. Banks is certified by the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing as a LiDAR Technologist.
10 Years of Experience
As Financial Controller, Yvonne is responsible for accurately reporting on the company’s financial position for management and taxation purposes.
Yvonne is the first contact for all accounting information including accounts payable and accounts receivable.
Yvonne also manages the Human Resources function at Midwest, including maintaining employee records and overseeing payroll.